B-147228, OCT. 24, 1961

B-147228: Oct 24, 1961

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USAF: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF ORDERS AUTHORIZING YOU TO RATION SEPARATELY OR OTHER EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT SUCH PERMISSION WAS GRANTED THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF SEPARATE RATIONS ALLOWANCE TO ENLISTED MEN ON DUTY AT STATIONS WHERE GOVERNMENT MESS IS AVAILABLE. HE WAS THE COMMANDER OF HEADQUARTERS SQUADRON. LIEUTENANT BULLOCK STATED THAT AFTER SIGNING THE NECESSARY FORM AUTHORIZING YOUR SEPARATE RATIONS THE PAPER WAS TAKEN TO THE 832ND AIR BASE GROUP WHERE IT HAD TO BE PROCESSED BEFORE GOING TO THE FINANCE OFFICE. WHICH INCLUDES INSTANCES "WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED.'. STATES THAT SUCH PROVISION SHALL BE CONSIDERED APPLICABLE IN THE CASE OF ENLISTED MEMBERS ON DUTY AT STATIONS OR WHILE SICK IN HOSPITALS WHERE A MESS FOR SUBSISTING ENLISTED MEMBERS IS AVAILABLE AND WHEN SUCH MEMBERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO SUBSIST THEMSELVES INDEPENDENTLY.

B-147228, OCT. 24, 1961

TO THE MASTER SERGEANT CARNELL L. MARTIN, USAF:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1961, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 17, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR SEPARATE RATIONS ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 25, 1959, TO FEBRUARY 19, 1961.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF ORDERS AUTHORIZING YOU TO RATION SEPARATELY OR OTHER EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT SUCH PERMISSION WAS GRANTED THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF SEPARATE RATIONS ALLOWANCE TO ENLISTED MEN ON DUTY AT STATIONS WHERE GOVERNMENT MESS IS AVAILABLE. YOU NOW SUBMIT A CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY FIRST LIEUTENANT GARY M. BULLOCK, USAF, WHICH STATES THAT ON OR ABOUT SEPTEMBER 25, 1959, HE WAS THE COMMANDER OF HEADQUARTERS SQUADRON, 27TH TACTICAL FIGHTER WING, YOUR ORGANIZATION, AND AT THAT TIME HE GRANTED YOU PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY BY APPROVING YOUR REQUEST FOR SEPARATE RATIONS. IN A PREVIOUS COMMUNICATION, LIEUTENANT BULLOCK STATED THAT AFTER SIGNING THE NECESSARY FORM AUTHORIZING YOUR SEPARATE RATIONS THE PAPER WAS TAKEN TO THE 832ND AIR BASE GROUP WHERE IT HAD TO BE PROCESSED BEFORE GOING TO THE FINANCE OFFICE. THE FILE FURTHER REFLECTS THAT A THOROUGH SEARCH OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL AND FINANCE OFFICE RECORDS FAILED TO LOCATE A COPY OF THE APPLICATION.

SECTION 301 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 251, AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE, WHICH INCLUDES INSTANCES "WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED.' EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10119, DATED MARCH 27, 1950 (37 U.S.C. 251; AF BUL. 8, 1950), ISSUED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 301, STATES THAT SUCH PROVISION SHALL BE CONSIDERED APPLICABLE IN THE CASE OF ENLISTED MEMBERS ON DUTY AT STATIONS OR WHILE SICK IN HOSPITALS WHERE A MESS FOR SUBSISTING ENLISTED MEMBERS IS AVAILABLE AND WHEN SUCH MEMBERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO SUBSIST THEMSELVES INDEPENDENTLY. AIR FORCE MANUAL 173-20, WHICH WAS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO THE 27TH TACTICAL FIGHTER WING, PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 20104-B (1) (B) THAT:

"/1) AIRMEN ARE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE ON A DAILY BASIS AT THE RATES PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH 20101D UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED BELOW:

"/B) WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE INSTALLATION COMMANDER TO SUBSIST THEMSELVES INDEPENDENTLY, NOTWITHSTANDING THE AVAILABILITY OF A GOVERNMENT MESS.'

PARAGRAPH 20108-B, AFM 173-20, PROVIDES THAT PAYMENT WILL BE AUTHORIZED FOR---

"B. AIRMEN. AFTER DETERMINATION IS MADE * * * OR AUTHORIZATION IS GRANTED TO RATION SEPARATELY REGARDLESS OF THE AVAILABILITY OF A GOVERNMENT MESS * * *. THE DETERMINATION OR AUTHORIZATION OF THE INSTALLATION COMMANDER IS CONCLUSIVE OF THE RIGHTS OF THE AIRMAN * * *.'

IT IS APPARENT THAT, UNDER THE QUOTED REGULATIONS, THE SEPARATE RATION ALLOWANCE IS NOT PAYABLE IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE ENLISTED PERSON WAS IN FACT AUTHORIZED BY PROPER AUTHORITY, PRIOR TO THE PERIOD INVOLVED, TO MESS SEPARATELY.

WHILE THE PRESENT RECORD INDICATES THAT YOUR SQUADRON COMMANDER MAY HAVE APPROVED YOUR REQUEST TO RATION SEPARATELY, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE FROM AN OFFICIAL SOURCE AFFIRMATIVELY SHOWING THAT YOUR REQUEST WAS SUBSEQUENTLY APPROVED BY THE INSTALLATION COMMANDER AT CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE, OR THAT ORDERS HAVE EVER BEEN ISSUED GRANTING SUCH PERMISSION FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 25, 1959, TO FEBRUARY 19, 1961. IN THE ABSENCE OF A WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION BY THE INSTALLATION COMMANDER AT CANNON AIR FORCE BASE--- OR OF A VERBAL AUTHORIZATION CONFIRMED IN WRITING WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME--- SHOWING THAT YOU WERE AUTHORIZED BY HIM TO RATION SEPARATELY DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 17, 1961, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.